Pre-registration and Hospice programs
The Lewis County Coroner’s Office (LCCO) has this program available where a person who is under a physician’s care for a documented long-term illness and who is receiving care (either from family or from a facility) can be enrolled in the pre-registration program.
To be added to the pre-registration list the primary care physician has to complete and submit and a LCCO Pre-Registration form that contains the patient’s demographics, the next of kin names and contact, and the mortuary of choice. The form also states the primary care physician will sign the Death Certificate and what they would list as the cause of death.
Once received at LCCO the form is reviewed for completeness and then the patient’s information is entered into the computer database used by LCCO as well as law enforcement and fire districts.
If the person does pass away at home the family can call the mortuary directly. The mortuary confirms with the LCCO the person is pre-registered and they come to the residence to remove the decedent. There is no need to call 911 and have a response by fire/EMS and law enforcement.
This sounds all well and good but it is when a loved one is dying at home in front of the family the natural instinct is to call 911 and that is perfectly okay. Having the person registered in the database allows responding units to see they are pre-registered with this office. Once EMS arrives if the family decides they want attempts made to resuscitate the person that can be done as well.
The pre-registration program is a way to allow people to die at home with their families and with dignity. The program is designed only for natural deaths. Any deaths related to trauma, suspicious circumstances, overdoses or suicide still have to be investigated fully.
Hospice care focuses on bringing comfort, self-respect, and tranquility to people in the final stages of life. It is generally used for patients who are in the end stages of a disease process where the death is expected within a generally short period of time. Hospice believes that the end of life is not a medical experience but rather a human experience that benefits from expert medical and holistic support. Patients are registered with a specific hospice group who provides care in the home or at facilities. When the person dies the family calls the hospice group and a nurse responds to handle the releasing of the person to their chosen mortuary. No one from this office or law enforcement have to respond for any type of investigation. Like the pre-registration program hospice is designed only for natural deaths. Any deaths related to trauma, suspicious circumstances, overdoses or suicide still have to be investigated fully.
The LCCO participates in both programs to ensure that people can die with dignity and to lessen the emotional trauma placed on the surviving family members and friends. Please contact the LCCO at 360-740-1376 if you have any questions about either the pre-registration program or hospice care.